So we’ve been through preparing your answers to likely interview questions, and making sure that your knowledge of the firm, the industry and the role helps you stand out as a candidate, now we move on to the dress rehearsal.
Working actual practice into your interview prep is important, you may think that you’re ultra prepared but the real thing can be very different from the paper version. If you haven’t done a few dry runs then you might find out that you were only prepared in theory – you do not want that moment to be 5 minutes into the interview.
Seriously, dress rehearsal
If you’ve ever had a wardrobe malfunction mid interview you’ll know how important preparing your outfit is. It is probably a little more relevant for women, just because there is so much more to go wrong.
Can you really walk in those lovely new shoes? Is your top button going to continuously pop open, casting aspersions on the lengths you’re willing to go to to get the job? Can you breath in that high waisted skirt?
But it’s important for men as well – when was the last time you wore that shirt? Does it still fit? Is there a sneaky stain hiding on the back of your jacket?
Wear your full outfit and wear it for at least half an hour, walk around, shake someones hand, hang your jacket on the back of your chair etc.
The aim here is to make sure you feel comfortable and confident and that your outfit is fit for purpose.
Talk out loud
It’s all very well having fantastic answers written down but how do you feel actually speaking them out loud? You might find that your meticulously prepared answers fall apart when spoken aloud.
Imagine sitting across from a stern interviewer, how do you feel about reciting your answers? Does it come easily or are you tripping up over your words – remember that you’re going to be nervous and under pressure.
Practice all your prepared answers a few times and change anything that doesn’t sound natural.
Get some feedback
Practicing in front of a mirror is a great start, you can even record yourself to get a better idea of how you come across, but ideally you want some external feedback. Rope in a friend or family member – ply them with tea and cake.
You know those people you can always rely on to tell you if your new haircut looks awful, those are the people you want – honest feedback is crucial.
Ask them to play the role of the interviewer and imagine that they are an actual employer looking to hire someone for their own business.
Put all thoughts of feeling silly aside – if you can’t do it in front of someone close to you how are you going to feel in front of a scary stranger whose job it is to judge you!
Stay tuned for the fourth and final article in our series on better preparation – Better Interview Preparation: 4. All the other bits and pieces.